Interview: J Grange speaks to us about all things mental health for Mental Health Awareness Week

J Grange spoke to us for a special Mental Health Awareness Week interview as well as speaking about the way music has helped him.

J Grange is the East London rapper who admits that music saved him and helped provide him with a positive focus. After having struggled with challenges to his mental health during his educational years and getting to a really dark place, music became an escape and eventually healing process for him. Having recently dropped his The Cost Of Success EP and with it being Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK he spoke to us about all things mental health as well as the new project.

Why did you settle on the J Grange name?  

I chose this name as Grange is my surname and J is the initial to my first name. I had loads of other ideas but I just wanted to keep it straightforward, Short and sweet! 

How did you end up deciding to do music?

I felt I had nothing else going for me in life and music was something I became passionate about and wanted to get into further. The challenges I was facing and my mental health were leading me down the wrong path in not only education but also in society. I was excluded numerous times from a various few schools and I had altercations with the police and the law. Things were escalating and this was the biggest turning point for me. I knew I needed to do something positive otherwise I’d be looked upon as another ‘failed member of society’ and I couldn’t let that happen.  Thankfully music was the answer.

How has your ADHD affected you growing up, and have people treated you differently?

From endless frustration, severe anxiety and depression, feeling misunderstood, to so nearly committing suicide ADHD definitely affected me massively growing up. I experienced large amounts of sleepless nights because I was battling so many negative thoughts and I became trapped by the devil inside my own head. I felt like my voice was being taken away from me. Also as I previously mentioned I had a disruptive education and struggled in society. My relationships with family and friends were deteriorating. I definitely feel people treated me differently because of the way I felt so misunderstood. 

You’ve also suffered with anxiety, explain to people what it felt like for you and some tips you have for dealing with it?

Anxiety pushed me back mentally and physically in a lot of ways. All my confidence rapidly disappeared. I found it even harder to socialise and most importantly to understand myself . However after time I knew I had to be strong to come back from the setbacks that my mind had created for me. Thankfully I then beat the demons in my head. Anxiety and mental health is all about your mindset. If you think positively positive things will come your way. There’s always light at the tunnel however tough things may get. I now go into PRUs and work alongside charities to spread this message so people hopefully will never have to experience what I once did. 

You’ve got a new EP The Costs Of Success out, what do you think the biggest cost of success it?

Great question! The biggest costs of success for me is the dedication and ability to focus on yourself, your goals and not be distracted. Also hard work and commitment. Consistent Late nights and early mornings. Success is a learning process and you have to sacrifice a lot in order to chase your dreams. You’ll always experience failure and set backs before you become successful and it’s the strength of having the determination and ability to turn a negative into a positive. 

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What can people expect on the project?

Positivity and inspiration. My tracks are filled with uplifting and relatable lyrics that come straight from the heart. My project is all about personal progression, having a positive mindset and success. I try paint the perfect picture of our modern generation . I want to inspire my listeners to know that they can achieve anything if they put there mind to it. 

It’s mental health awareness week, what is the key massage you’d want to get out for that?

Mental health WONT ever beat us. Show resilience stay positive and stay strong. Always look on the bright side. You can achieve ANYTHING you want to if you put your mind to it no matter what challenges you have faced or where you come from. Don’t let any one tell you can’t. There’s a lot of doubters and haters out there as I’m sure most rappers and other successful people out there can tell you about but avoid this negative energy. By doing this you are already 1-0 up. The same with Mental Health it will always try to knock you back and defeat you but make sure you beat it. We are all the same and can allow our journey to take us wherever we want it. We’re all in control of our own destiny , no one else especially not mental health . Believe and Achieve and you can conquer the world. 

You can find more on J Grange here.

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